West Nile Virus

Can a woman who becomes infected with West Nile Virus safely nurse her infant?

Yes. Scientists have found no evidence that a mother’s West Nile Virus infection harms her breastfeeding infant. Therefore, CDC recommends that women with West Nile Virus illness continue breastfeeding because the benefits of breast milk are thought to outweigh the theoretical risk of harm to the infant.

In the few documented cases of West Nile Virus transmission through breastfeeding (1 case in the year 2002; 3 cases in the year 2003), none resulted in recognizable illness in the infant.

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